Running into Rea stirred up memories I kept chained down to never resurface again. I never expected her to still be so beautiful. The trials of motherhood were supposed to make her look worn and tired but instead, she radiated. The difference to her was subtle. She had shorter hair, cut to her shoulders instead of cascading down her back although it only made her look more sophisticated. She had the same caramel eyes and the same glow to her skin. The same person I had fallen in love with so many years ago.
Her daughter had similar curls that Angel sported but had Rea’s dark black hair, exhibiting the same tint of blue in the right light. And her eyes. Light blue eyes that sparkled when she was excited. They were so different from Rea’s caramel color eyes making me believe they must be from the sperm donor’s side.
The kid was smart and kind too, years beyond what a girl of her age should be. Thoughtful as well. She tried to help with the supper dishes even though she wanted to play with her cousins. She looked after Angel when she fell on the deck, and stopped Cole and Vinny from fighting over a ball so they could all play. Such a strong-willed little girl, able to push her mother’s buttons but it was evident the love they shared as well. It was written all over her little cherub face.
Could I be jealous? Rea never wanted kids. It was my dream to settle down and procreate but my dream dissolved after the bombing as I couldn’t even date anymore. The feeling of not being an intact man, someone a woman could desire, left me unwilling to endure the hope of finding anyone. Not being intimate with a woman since the incident in France, I chose instead to waste all my time in the gym pushing myself to become bigger and more muscular to prove my virility instead of putting myself in a situation to have a woman pity me.
And then Rea showed up.
I should have known we would run into each other at some point. Maybe I still stayed in touch with Brandt because I had hoped to see her again. I still had some animosity towards her. When I gave her my heart only to have her crush it without any remorse, it hurt me more than I liked to admit. What we shared that summer was important to me although I must have had blinders on. Chelsea could get some acting lessons from Rea. She told me such enduring words I was convinced she felt the same way about me only to find out she played me for a fool.
Still mad and hurt over it even after all these years, I wondered why she told her daughter about army personal being heroes? Maybe I just tortured myself thinking she thought about me all these years as I did her. I certainly unnerved her. She couldn’t sit still, fidgeting, and avoiding me. Was it guilt? Or was it the fact she knew I would have been better than the guy she chose after me, wishing it was me instead since he abandoned her? The guy she chose to fuck after me was clearly an asshole to dump her with a bun in the oven. I would’ve never done that to her. I would have treated her like a... princess.
Princess being the right word for her, as life came to her on a silver platter. My pain still so raw, I felt vindicated for the way her ex jerk treated her when she left me. She was my one and only love and I hated to admit what I wanted now. Revenge.
The attraction was still there. I could feel it in the pool house. The air sizzled around us when I got near her. The way her eyes dulled. The lust I saw in them when I got close. She didn’t want to turn me away. But she did.
Well, I needed to work harder then. I could have pushed. Could have turned up the heat until she begged me to stay. My past indiscretions bestowed talents women praised me for in several posts during my military career. I was not the same man she met seven years ago. This time I knew how to make her scream my name. And grind her teeth.
Smirking, I almost forgot her cue to her impending orgasm. The way she used to grind her teeth when she writhed in ecstasy. What seemed odd at first only turned me on knowing she became so aroused she would lose herself in the passion before gushing around my cock. The urge to make her repeat the maneuver right now was too great.
Only in town for a week, my time to turn her into a lust-filled puddle was minimal. Once she found her passion in me again, I could find my revenge. And then I would be the one to finally break her heart.
Needing Intel, I decided to make a surprise visit to the Stennet household after Rea left with Brandt for the awards show. Chelsea being that she was so innocent and unsuspecting, could be pried into giving me the information of what the next week held with Rea’s visit.
Brandt wouldn’t be much of a problem considering he would be in the studio with the band putting the final touches on their newest album. And while Chelsea’s older kids still attended school this week, Angel and Lena would be around for them to put all of their focus on. Unfortunately getting Rea alone would prove difficult. Luckily the pool house security system still needed installation. Never one to do the grunt work in the past, my involvement in the installation process would still be a stretch, but I considered it my obligation to make sure my high-end clients got the best service possible, requiring me to make sure the security cameras were set up correctly. Nope, I was sure I needed to oversee this case personally.
The house lit up on the outside like a fortress. Brandt being my best client, I made sure he always had the latest technology for his security. He was insistent about keeping his family safe and with his fame in today’s world, it wasn’t always easy.
Touring stopped once Donavin was added to his family the summer after I left for the army. Just as he was set to return to the road, Angelica came along, and with her being a preemie and needing extra attention, he put a hold on his career to be by Chelsea’s side ever since. It didn’t stop him from being a rock legend, putting out an EP with the band a couple of years ago which was well-received by the fans. Rumors of a tour surfaced with his next album coming out soon, but he wouldn’t admit to anything.
Knocking on the door, I looked up at the camera hidden in the corner and smiled. Within seconds the door opened, and Chelsea greeted me with a shocked look, “Logan? What a wonderful surprise. Come in.”
Moving back to let me gain entry, I set up my ruse. “I’m sorry to interrupt. I wanted to get a jump on tomorrow before the installation of the security to the pool house. I’m afraid I forgot to ask Brandt some questions about how he wants the camera’s positioned.”
She smiled, “Did you forget? He’s at the awards show with Rea. They probably won’t be back until late.”
Knotting my eyebrows together, I responded, “You know, I totally forgot. It is usually such the talk of the town before the show I can’t believe I didn’t think about it.”
Laughing, she placed her hand in the crook of my arm, pulling me forward. “Well, you can still come in and spend some time with me. I was just trying to get into a movie, but it isn’t holding my interest.” As usual, an innocent Chelsea fed into my ploy without suspicion.
We made our way into their family room. A fire sent flashes of warm light dancing around the deep-colored furniture setting an inviting ambiance. Sinking into the sofa, she offered me some of her drink of choice for the night, “I have wine if you are interested. Or maybe something stronger?”
“No thanks. I’m fine. Sit down and tell me what movie you are watching.”
Restarting the movie from the beginning, she described an Academy award-nominated movie of recent while I placed the occasional well-meaning question about what the week ahead held for both Rea and herself. My mission proved profitable since they had plans to hang around the house until the kids were in school and then shop and visit the local towns later in the week before Lena’s birthday party here next Saturday.
We spent the next hour and a half watching the critically acclaimed movie that won best picture of the year for some reason. She lent stories of a few actors she knew before hitting their big break making me laugh. Chelsea and I always had an easy camaraderie and pretty much renounced the rest of the movie to talk about whatever topic we felt necessary. Two hours flew by, but considering the ease of the company present, I shouldn’t have been surprised.
It was well after midnight when the movie ended. Right as I planned on leaving a tiny voice called out from the stairs behind us, “Is my momma home yet?” Lena came closer rubbing her eyes with the light of the television illuminating the big blue spheres.
“No pumpkin. They aren’t home yet. Are you having a hard time sleeping?” Chelsea spoke softly to the sleepy girl. Lena yawned and looked at me with reddened eyes indicating a recent crying spell.
“I had a bad dream.” Her little lips trembled, provoking my concern. “There were zombie pirates, and they wanted to hurt me.”
“Hey there. No need to worry.” My heart went out to Lena too young to understand dreams were fictional and didn’t need to be fretted about. I didn’t know what to say to calm her fear but felt the need to say something. “I... I’m an army guy, remember? I’m here to protect you. Nothing will happen to you.” Grateful for my interference, Chelsea gave her a nod and a smile clearly concerned for the little girl with an active imagination.
“Can I sit by you?” Her request heartfelt, made my own face softened. When I nodded, she climbed up in my lap, shivering. Chelsea came over with a throw blanket from the back of the couch and laid it on Lena’s lap. She rested her head against my chest, and I smelled bubblegum of all things. It was a wonderful little girl scent that made me smile. “Can you stay for a while? Just until my momma comes home?”
Looking over to Chelsea I hated the concern on her face. “Honey, Logan might not be able to stay that long. Your mom and Uncle Brandt might be gone for a while yet.”
Shaking my head, I erased her fear, “Don’t worry little Katalena, I can stay for as long as you need.” When she turned her head and looked up at me with reverence my heart melted again. She was such a little angel. She had large big blue eyes and a cute button nose. Her dark wayward curls stuck up all over from her restless slumber. I couldn’t help but think back to a time years ago when my own little sister would look up at me in the exact same way.
Nodding her little head, her curls bounced as if on springs before she leaned back into my chest. “Don’t tell momma please.”
Troubled, I looked down at her. “Don’t tell your mother what?”
Her voice sleepy again, she responded, “That I had a nightmare about pirates. She won’t let me read any more pirate books. She still doesn’t believe pirates can be good guys.”
I smiled despite myself, “No need to let your mother know. And yes, there are most certainly good pirates out there. I have even met some.”
“You have?” The awe in her voice was cute.
“Yep, I even worked with a few overseas. They are some pretty great people.”
She smiled and wrestled her way deeper into my arms, “I knew it.”
Yawning, it was mere minutes before she fell back asleep. When I looked over at Chelsea, I noticed she too had fallen into a slumber. Although it was late, I couldn’t stomach waking Lena after her nightmare until certain she drifted off deep enough to prevent her from waking again, so I settled in to rest my own eyes.
The next thing I knew two more sets of eyes stared down at me. Brandt and Rea returned from the awards show. Brandt’s gaze trailed to Chelsea and then formed a smirk at his wife cuddled into her chair, while Rea had the biggest, brownest eyes staring at me as I held her daughter.
The sight of Rea took my breath away. It wasn’t hard to imagine her spending the last several hours perusing and hobnobbing with the rich and famous looking as enchanting as she did. She had on a red satin dress tight enough to enhance her shapely outline without being overdramatic. The top of the dress gathered at the crest of her chest but still left a hint of cleavage showing. Nothing flashy, but enough to execute a regal and elegant display. Especially the way her hair curled on the crown of her head, held together with only a jeweled clasp to highlight the rich color. Even her makeup was kept simple to accentuate her classic beauty. The only thing out of place seemed to be the look on her face.
Apprehension clouded her face and I quickly tried to explain, “She had a nightmare. Something about...” Not wanting to go back on my word I stumbled slightly, “...wolves.” Chelsea, now awake, smirked over at me and I shrugged.
Rea only half-believed us, “A nightmare? Why didn’t you call me?”
She addressed Chelsea avoiding my heated glare on her body. Chelsea in turn looked confused and sleepy, stretching her limps from being in the same sequestered area for the last couple of hours. “No need to. She saw the big army guy was here and calmed right down.”
Chelsea motioned to me causing a sadness to form on Rea’s face. Didn’t she want me to be the one to quell her daughter’s fears? They only had the two of them to rely on but really, she could lean on others to help her now and then. Chelsea explained, “All she had to do was hear Logan’s story of the good pirates, and she fell fast asleep.”
Rea turned to me, obviously not thankful. “You shouldn’t encourage her like that. She has become infatuated with some mythical pirate heroes and it is all she talks about. She is even starting to get picked on at school.” The thought of little Lena getting picked on bothered me more than it should. Maybe I should have discussed it with Rea first before I enhanced her daughter’s love of pirates.
Chelsea yawned and looked at Brandt, “Logan just came by to talk to you about the pool house. He forgot you were out for the night.”
My deceitfulness covered by my pseudo honest expression, I looked Brandt in the eye. “Yeah, my mistake. Well, being it is so late I will just stop by tomorrow.” Glancing at Rea I was glad to see her features sour. Was it due to annoyance or hope?
Brandt crouched down and removed a still sleeping Lena from my lap, but I missed the feeling of holding her for just a little while longer. Instead, I straighten out my pants rising to a standing position.
“I got you pumpkin.” He adjusted her in his arms, comfortable with her weight as if he had carried many a sleepy child before. “Uncle Brandt will tuck you in.” Brandt turned back to me, “Ah, I will take the heavy load back upstairs if you could see yourself out. Oh, and could you show Rea how to set the alarm? I never got a chance to show her yet.”
“Yeah, sure,” I said. Smiling to his wife Brandt motioned to the nearby stairs, scaling the back steps in a swift motion while Chelsea followed after him.
Walking ahead of me I racked my brain for a lead-in line when she humbled me, “Look I’m sorry for pouncing on you back there. It’s just that I thought she would be bored with the whole pirate thing by now. It didn’t bother me until her friend Evelyn at school started to pick on her. She acts like it doesn’t upset her, but that little Evelyn can be cruel at times.”
The kindhearted always got picked on causing me to ruffle at the thought. “I guess I didn’t realize. I never had kids.”
She fumbled her response, softening her voice. “Well, you should have. I always thought you would make an excellent father.” Big brown eyes met mine letting me believe there was more to that statement before she suddenly clamped up.
It only bristled me further. Now she felt I would be a good father material but yet she dismissed me fast as someone to grow old with. Instead of showing it, I tried to keep the bitterness out of my voice, “Here is how you activate the alarm.” Showing her the panel, I uploaded the sequence and activated the system. “As soon as I leave, I want you to hit this button.” Shoving out the animosity for her last statement I strengthened my reserve, “That is if you want me to leave.” The surprise in her eyes was liberating and I circled in for the kill.
Stepping towards her I kept going until her back touched the wall, giving her barely an inch to move. “We could always go down to the pool house and find out if I can still make you grind your teeth.” Heat bloomed on her cheeks and I grazed my hand down her slim neck feeling her pulse beating erratically underneath soft skin.
“I... I don’t think that is a good idea.”
Coming close to her ear, I smelled the faint scent of peaches making my cock take notice, the smell so intermingled with her aroma. “You look good enough to eat tonight Rea. Would you let me? Eat you that is?” I let my lips linger by her neck pressing my body against her, but at the last second, she slipped beneath my arms.
“Logan, I don’t know what you are trying to prove but it has been a long night and I really am tired. Would you please leave?” There was indecision in her statement, but I decided to bide my time. I still had several days before she left. It would be nice to start early on her. Lord knew I missed her body and would like to enjoy it for longer than a couple of days before I sought my revenge, but I didn’t want to scare her off. Lusting after me was one thing, being afraid of me was something I would never allow.
“Well then, I will just need to see you tomorrow.” Leaving a chaste kiss to linger on her cheek, I turned and walked out the door, letting her watch my departure.